New challenge for new Stanford men's tennis coach | June 27, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 27, 2014

New challenge for new Stanford men's tennis coach

by Keith Peters

Paul Goldstein has succeeded at every level in the world of tennis. He was a teen prodigy in high school, an All-American in college, a successful pro, a council member for the pro game and even an announcer.

One thing Goldstein hasn't done is coach college tennis. But, he's going to get that opportunity after becoming the 10th head men's tennis coach in Stanford history this week.

Goldstein becomes the second straight former Stanford player to take over the program, following a successful 10-year stint by John Whitlinger, who announced his retirement on May 29 after guiding Stanford to a 160-85 overall record and nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

"I am humbled, honored, but most of all inspired by the opportunity to lead a program with such a strong inter-generational legacy of athletic and academic excellence," said Goldstein. "I have been a proud member of the Stanford tennis family since I first arrived on campus in 1994 and am thrilled to be returning to The Farm."

Much has changed since Goldstein's playing days and he is well aware of the challenges ahead.

"The landscape of competitive tennis in the United States has changed dramatically since I attended Stanford in the 1990s," Goldstein wrote in an e-mail to the Stanford tennis community. "There are increasing pressures on young athletes to focus on tennis-related training/travel as the expense of academic achievement. These pressures create challenges for any collegiate program seeking to maintain academic standings.

"Despite these challenges, I believe that we will be a program that 1) competes for national championships, 2) maintains standards of academic excellence, 3) in which student-athletes improve themselves and have fun, 4) completely engages Stanford Tennis supporters and the entire university community."

Dick Gould, who coached Goldstein and is now Stanford's Director of Tennis, had nothing but praise for his former player.

"A fantastic person, loved and respected by ALL in the tennis world who know him," Gould said. "Maybe a little short on coaching experience, BUT he is a 'quick study' and will more than make up for this with his energy, enthusiasm and drive — one of the best competitors I ever had the pleasure to coach! Young men will absolutely love to play for him, and he will recruit as well as one can possibly do; parents will love him as well."

A native of Rockville, Md., Goldstein has made an impact throughout his playing career. A 1994 graduate of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., Goldstein was ranked among the top 10 juniors in the world and made USTA history by becoming the first player to capture three consecutive national championships (Boys' 16 in 1992, Boys' 18 in 1993, Boys' 18 in 1994) in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Goldstein then enjoyed a stellar collegiate career from 1995-98, leading the Cardinal to a 104-6 overall record — the best four-year stretch in program history — while becoming the first player in NCAA history to compete as a starting member of four consecutive national championship teams. Goldstein was honored as an All-American in each of his four years.

Goldstein capped his career with a Pac-10 Player of the Year honor in 1998 after winning 33 of his 35 overall matches during the team's 28-0 campaign. A team captain during his senior campaign, Goldstein and his teammates (which included the Bryan brothers) surrendered just three individual points the entire season while going undefeated and winning the NCAA title. Goldstein finished his career with 84 dual-match victories, ranking fifth overall in program history.

The first-ever two-time recipient of the ITA's Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award (1997, 1998), Goldstein also was recognized as the ITA's Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award recipient in 1997. Goldstein was inducted into the ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in May 2013 and currently serves on the ITA Hall of Fame Committee.

Goldstein received his B.A. in human biology from Stanford in 1998 before embarking on an impressive 10-year professional career. After moving into the world's top 200 in less than one year on the professional circuit, Goldstein's ATP world rankings eventually reached as high as No. 58 in singles and No. 40 in doubles.

A US Open doubles semifinalist in 2005, Goldstein also boasts career singles wins over current world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, James Blake, Mardy Fish, Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter. Goldstein was the highest-ranked player in the world with a college degree for the majority of his professional career.

During his tenure as a professional athlete, Goldstein was elected by his peers to serve on the 10-member ATP Player Council for a two-year term, representing the interests of 1000-plus professional tennis players while acting as a liaison between the ATP Board of Directors and senior management.

Since 2008, Goldstein has served in sales and business development roles at Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley-based clean energy fuel cell company.

Goldstein has remained active on both a local and national level within the tennis community, serving as a USTA Nominating Committee member and member of the ITA Steering Committee on Dual Match formats while also coaching aspiring juniors in the Bay Area.

Goldstein is familiar with the current collegiate landscape, having served as a Pac-12 Networks color analyst for the previous two seasons during dual match and conference championship competition.

Now he'll be on the other side of the microphone.


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